Thursday, July 30, 2015



What would you do…
If you had the chance to start again?
Not to go back but to move forward
A fresh start, a new beginning...

Who would you be?
The person they want you to be?
The person they have pressured you to be?
Or would you simply be you.
The only one who can do what you can do.
Be you.

What would you believe?
The lie that you are a mistake?
The lie that whispers that you are worthless?
That you don’t deserve to be loved?
Or the truth…
You are here for a reason.
You are priceless.
You are loved.
Very, very loved.

Where would you go?
Would you stay mired in doubt?
Paralyzed by fear?
Or would that lion inside of you rumble awake.
And roar.

The time is now.
A new day.
A new chapter.
A blank page.

Be you.
Know you are loved.
Awaken from your slumber.
And live.

This is an original work. If you intend to share, please link back to my blog for proper credit. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Conversation With Death


A Conversation With Death

             He came to me on quiet feet. His hands were warm, his presence strangely comforting.
            “I thought you would be cold,” I said to him. “I thought you would be like a heavy cloak of ice. But you are so very warm. You should be cold and dark, not gilded with dusky twilight and scented with the fragrance of tranquility.”
            “There is peace here, my child,” Death said to me. “You have only to take my hand and let it be done. There will be no more suffering for you. I will ease your pain.”
            “The pain,” I said and the tears began. “If only I could feel it! But I cannot. I can only lie here in the numbness and watch the world go on around me. It is why I called for you. You alone can help me feel the pain again. And you alone can then take it away. But I was afraid. I thought you would be cold and dark and ugly. I did not expect you to be so warm and beautiful.”
            “There is beauty in the darkness,” Death said. “Nothing will ever hurt you again, my child. You will ever be safe in my arms.”
            I held Death’s hand. I looked into his dark, beautiful eyes. I saw my reflection there. Saw myself as I wished to be. Peaceful and serene. There was nothing to fear there. The dark was not a scary place. There were others there. I had fleeting glimpses of them during my brief entrance into Death’s deep, deep eyes.
            They waited for me, arms outstretched, beckoning me to come. . .come and rest with them.
            “We will care for you,” they seemed to say in unison. “You will never be alone again. You will ever be safe with us.”
            Legions of them, holding out their hands. Warm hands. Hands that would never strike out in anger. Hands that would never hurt. Hands that would love. Arms that would hold.
            I had only to lift my own hand and draw the blade and those arms would enfold me, keep me safe from all harm. I had only to draw the blade and my suffering would end.
            “I am afraid,” I said and Death smiled indulgently.
            “I know, my child,” he answered. “Everyone is. No one wants to see me when I come. They cringe away in fear because they do not understand me. It is a pitiful thing to be so misunderstood.”
            His hands lay open before me. The tiny blade gleamed, a sliver of brilliant light.
            “You have only to take it,” he said. “One swift stroke, a brief moment of pain, and then the warmth of your life flowing into me. I will take you in my arms and hold you close. I will cradle you like a babe against my breast and you will be safe. Always safe.”
            I took the blade. It glittered in my hand. I stared at it for a long, long time.
            Drawn once, across tender flesh, and then would come the pain I longed to feel. And after the pain, as my blood ran like a river into the folds of Death’s black robes, would come the peace.
            No more suffering. No more pain. No more bruises. No more threats. No more whippings. No more hateful words to pick apart my already shattered heart.
            “I do not know,” I said as I began to cry again. “I just do not know if I can do this.”
            “You can, my child.” Death reached out and caressed my cheek. Beneath the heat I felt a tiny splinter of cold. “A single stroke and your suffering ends.”
            I held the blade carefully, tested the edge, watched the blood trickle down my finger. Warm. Sticky. Bright red.
            And there was pain. Finally, there was that tiny sting of pain.
            “You see,” he said. “It is so simple.” He traced a thin fingernail across my wrist and a tiny line appeared. “Right here,” he went on, his voice low, seductively calm. “Just here, where I have made the mark. One swift stroke and it will be done.”
            The blade was poised. The line had been drawn. It glimmered, as though lit from within. My heart beat fast and wild. My blood was so close to the surface now. It throbbed under my skin, its desperate pulse thudding as it waited. It called out to me, begged me to set it free, to let it find its way out of the confines of my body.
            “Free us,” my blood cried. “When we are free, you will be free.”
            The blade touched my skin, my hand shook. And it was cold. So very, very cold. Not warm, as Death’s hands had been, but cold; cold as ice from the Arctic Sea.
             I faltered. Death sighed.
            “I cannot,” I said sadly. “I cannot.”
            “Very well,” Death said, the disappoint evident in his deep, dark eyes. “Some other time.”  

Author's Note: This came out of the mind of a character I was once developing as an original character in a fan fiction for Law & Order: Criminal Intent. It was intended to be a journal entry of hers, however the story I was working on stalled on me and I never got it going. This piece remains as a stand-alone so I thought I would share it. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Why I love broken seashells...

Being the beach girl that I am, I have spent considerable time over the years picking up seashells of all sizes, shapes and colors. Many years ago, while on one of my beach walks, I stopped to think about how many broken seashells there were compared to those I found whole and virtually unmarred. And though I get pretty excited when I actually find a conch shell that is whole, I find that I actually prefer the broken shells to the whole ones. The broken pieces are interesting, unique in the way they have been shaped by sand and sea, beautiful in their imperfection, in their brokenness.  
We live in a world that demands perfection. You have to look a certain way, talk a certain way, behave a certain way to be accepted. You can’t have “issues”, not really. I mean, who has time for that in between all those gym workouts and self-help memes constantly being circulated on Facebook? Does anyone really want to listen, you may wonder. And often times it does seem as if the answer, while not always a resounding “no”, is sometimes a polite yawn. If your problem can’t be solved in five minutes or less, most people don’t want to hear it. This is the age of instant and drive-thru everything. Many people are simply not disposed to stand still for very long, much less take the time to really listen to one another beyond the usual small talk and “OMG, did you hear…” gossip.  
So we cover…we hide…we put on the front that says, “Hey, I’m good. No problem. I’ve got this.” Meanwhile, on the inside, we are shattered.  
Back to the seashells…a whole shell has a certain kind of beauty. Scallop shells in particular are a favorite of mine, with their textured ridges and muted colors, and the whole conch shells that I have, while rather plain looking on the outside, hold the ocean within…(I can prove this by holding the shell up to my ear!) But the broken pieces I have collected over the years are my favorites. So many different shapes and textures…many times they are very smooth, having been washed over and over in the salty sea and rubbed smooth against the sand. Their colors are and purple, orange and muted gold. I’m not scientific about this…I can’t tell you why the colors happen the way they do or how long it takes the ocean to smooth over what was once a deep ridge and turn it into a glassy surface. All I can tell you is that they are beautiful.   
Just like those shells, if we allow ourselves to break open and expose the tender places within, we would find that each of us has unique beauty on the inside. It is only by dropping our fronts, removing our masks, and breaking open that we show the world our true selves. Most of us fear that kind of exposure, so we hide. We hide our broken places, distract ourselves with whatever comes to hand, and live life on the surface, barely touching the deeper things, and therefore cheating ourselves out of the many opportunities we have every day to touch one another, to make a real difference to even just one person. We lose our ability to truly love one another because we are too busy covering and hiding what we think is a mess of imperfection that no one will want to deal with.  
Open yourself to the possibilities. Take off your mask, tear down the walls you’ve built around yourself and walk unencumbered by those things into the freedom of just being YOU. We are all beautiful, and we are all unique. There is something in each one of us that this world desperately needs. It’s time we get with the program and start being real. Not “keeping it real” as the popular trend goes…this phrase is overused and stale now, don’t you think? How about we simply resolve to be who we are, to allow others to be who they are, and to appreciate the fact that we are not all alike? I think that is a much better idea than the homogenization of a society that screams about being “individual” and “unique” but succumbs to the sameness of whatever the trend is because it is safer than truly striking out on one’s own.   
I march to the beat of my own drum. I always have. It’s been source of pain for me in many ways because I was misunderstood. I didn’t fit in. In many ways, I still don’t. But I’m learning to be okay with that. So should you. March to your own beat and let the world see who you really are. Those who don’t appreciate you…well you will simply have to let go of the idea that everyone will. Accept that you won’t always be accepted and move on. There are plenty of folks who will accept you for who you are. Appreciate them and let the rest go. There is something you alone can offer to this world. Search your heart, find out what it is, and then offer it. Step out of your comfort zone and live your life from the depths of your heart and soul.   
Trust me, it’s a little scary out here, on the limb of being who you are, but you’ll learn to find your balance. Don’t worry if you fall down a few times and get some bumps and bruises. That’s life. As you come across others who are walking the road you’re on, you can compare bruises. You’ll find that none of us are perfect and we’ve all taken our share of falls. Don’t let fear stop you from stepping out. It’s okay if you’re afraid. Do it anyway!   
And pay attention to those broken seashells. They are all unique, beautiful in their own special way. Different colors and shapes and sizes, and all worthy of being picked up and held onto. So are you.